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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Residency Program

About the Program

photo of residency group

The department currently provides a three-year postgraduate training program for 21 residents, with seven new candidates accepted each year. Residents benefit from the wisdom of a large, expert faculty with a deep commitment to teaching, and they have the opportunity to work with the latest diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. The organized teaching program consists of approximately 350 hours of didactic lectures per residency, covering all subspecialty areas within ophthalmology. Residents leave the clinic areas one afternoon a week and report to Downstate for an afternoon of grand rounds case presentations followed by didactics. Special program features include the Wills Review Course for 1st year residents, and the University of Illinois at Chicago review course for 2nd year residents. Senior residents are granted permission to attend an approved paid educational course of their choice if academic criteria is met in first 2 years of training on OKAP examination results. The SUNY Downstate program offers its own basic science review course, with several surgical courses given throughout the year. A surgical cataract simulator is available to all residents throughout their training.

A graduated surgical experience is afforded to the residents with 1st years involved in traumatic eyelid repair, minor procedures, and pterygium surgery. The second years are involved with strabismus surgery, retinal and glaucoma laser surgery, and begin cataract surgery at the midway point in the year. Surgical observations for the various types of eye surgery are mandatory for all 1st and 2nd year residents. The senior year's surgical training includes work to supplement previously performed surgery in addition to being primary surgeon for penetrating keratoplasty, vitreo-retinal surgery, glaucoma surgery and globe trauma. All residents exceed the minimum surgical requirements set by the Accreditation Commission for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). It is expected that the senior residents will all perform more than 120 cataract cases. A comparable experience is gained in ocular trauma, glaucoma surgery, retinal surgery and laser surgery.

The program includes monthly faculty grand rounds, often with visiting professors, updating residents and faculty on developing trends and techniques in ophthalmology, in addition to the weekly resident grand rounds. As mentioned, all residents execute a research project, and mentorships are established in the first year of residency training. Other special program features include an oncology rotation at Memorial Sloan Kettering and collaborative surgical courses with other academic institutions.

Strengths of the overall residency program include the extensive exposure to trauma cases, and well-structured rotations through programs at the affiliated hospitals. All resident levels have an equivalent learning experience as their rotation sites are identical each year of training. Residents get off to a positive start through experience with varied patient populations and pathologies at the different clinical sites. Another outstanding aspect of the SUNY Downstate education program is the opportunity to work and learn in state-of-the-art facilities, where the most sophisticated equipment permits conducting very advanced procedures. Residents often praise the enthusiasm of the faculty and the program's emphasis on research accomplishment.

Many residents go on to fellowship training and have received very prestigious positions at top institutions. Nonetheless, residents choosing to go directly into practice from our residency are indeed ready and able to perform at very high levels. Over the last decade, there has been a marked increase in the quality of applicants for our residency program openings, attracted by the department's growing national reputation. At its most recent review by the ACGME in 2013, the department received a 10 year full accreditation.



SUNY Downstate Ophthalmology Residency Listing

PL3 Class 2014-2015 Medical School Attended
Dr. Michael Dattilo SUNY Downstate
Dr. Solly Elmann SUNY Downstate
Dr. Jay Joseph UT Southwestern
Dr. Jewel Liao SUNY Downstate
Dr. James Murphy University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
Dr. Asher Neren Chicago Medical School
Dr. Jeffrey Tan Boston University School of Medicine

PL2 Class 2014-2015 Medical School Attended
Dr. Eitan Burstein SUNY Downstate
Dr. Frank Cao Wayne State University College of Medicine
Dr. Edward Chay SUNY Downstate
Dr. Ghulam Dastgir SUNY Downstate
Dr. Nicholas Farber University of Virginia School of Medicine
Dr. Reshma Mehendale University of Mumbai
Dr. Jenny Temnogorod SUNY Downstate

PL1 Class 2014-2015 Medical School Attended
Dr. Prachi Dua SUNY Downstate
Dr. Ilan Epstein University of Miami School of Medicine
Dr. Boleslav Kotlyar SUNY Buffalo
Dr. Nataliya Pokeza SUNY Downstate
Dr. Mamta Shah Boston University School of Medicine
Dr. Nora Silverman SUNY Downstate
Dr. Amirfarbod Yazdanyar Islamic Azad University (MD), SUNY Downstate (PhD)

Ophthalmology Class Entering 2015
Dr. Christopher Adam SUNY Downstate
Dr. Prateek Luthra Drexel University College of Medicine
Dr. Charles McCanna University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
Dr. Christopher Orr Drexel University College of Medicine
Dr. Shaily Shah Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Dr. Neha Shaik SUNY Downstate
Dr. Benjamin Whigham Duke University School of Medicine



SUNY Downstate Ophthalmology Graduates

Graduates 2014 Fellowship
Dr. Matthew Gorski Cornea - Northshore MEETH
Dr. Jason Moss Retina - Institute of California LA
Dr. Renelle Pointdujour Shields Ocular Oncology - Wills Eye Institute
Dr. Allison Rizzuti Cornea - SUNY Downstate
Dr. Jordan Spindle ASOPRS Oculoplastics - University of Alabama
Dr. Adam Thode Cornea - NY Eye and Ear
Dr. Frank Tsai Retina - UC San Diego

Graduates 2013 Fellowship
Dr. Cindy Calderon Retina - The Eye Specialty Group (formerly VRF) Memphis, TN
Dr. Justin Gutman Retina - UT Southwestern
Dr. David Mostafavi Uveitis - New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
Dr. Chirantan Mukhopadhyay Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Sherry Narang Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. David Rand Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Isaac Reich Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Sheetal Shah Cornea - UT Southwestern

Graduates 2012 Fellowship
Dr. Sara Ferri Cornea - Johns Hopkins College of Medicine
Dr. Sara Hanson Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Amy Kulak Plastics - Kresge
Dr. Akil Pascal Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Gabriel Schaab Cornea - University of Wisconsin College of Medicine
Dr. Melanie Sobel Comprehensive Ophthalmology

Graduates 2011 Fellowship
Dr. Ramanath Bhandari Retina - University of Colorado
Dr. John Frisbee Retina - Ochsner Clinic Foundation
Dr. Andrew Greenberg Glaucoma - NY Eye and Ear Infirmary
Dr. Alex Karvelishvili Retina - Valley Retina Institute Texas
Dr. Margaret Liu Cornea - Johns Hopkins College of Medicine
Dr. Monika Singh Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Beatrice Whitaker Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Lauren Yeager Peds Ophtho - National Children's Hospital Washington

Graduates 2010 Fellowship
Dr. Rodney Coe Retina - University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Gennifer Greebal Peds Ophtho - National Children's Hospital Washington
Dr. Sheetal Patel Cornea - Cornell Medical Center
Dr. Allison Rand Cornea - Mount Sinai Medical Center
Dr. Marjorie Rico Oculoplastics - Dr. Janet Neigel
Dr. Brandon Rodriguez Cornea - Cornell Medical Center
Dr. Jeremy Shaw Medical Retina - Duke University Medical Center

Graduates 2009 Fellowship
Dr. Habeeb Ahmed Cornea - USC
Dr. Kichiemon Asoma Cornea - UT Southwestern
Dr. Carl Danzig Retina - UT Southwestern
Dr. Majida Gaffar Peds Ophtho - National Children's Hospital Washington
Dr. Adam Jacobowitz Uveitis - Johns Hopkins College of Medicine
Dr. Na Ma Neuro - Ophthalmology/Plastics, Kingsbrook/Downstate
Dr. Preeti Poley Retina - University of Nebraska
Dr. Kirk Sturridge Glaucoma - University of Iowa



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